World Almanac 2009 Press Release

World Almanac 2009 Press Release (MS Word Format)

Embargoed until November 17, 2008

Caroline Hemingway
Rachel Konik

The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2009:
The #1 Best-Selling American Reference Book of All Time

On Sale November 25—in Time for Holiday Gift Giving

~Featuring Election 2008 Coverage and New Downloadable Trivia Quiz~

New York, NY (November 17, 2008)—Which nations won the most gold medals at the 2008 Summer Olympics? Which 2008 presidential candidate received more votes in your home county? What is a CDO, and what did it have to do with this year’s economic crisis? The answers to these and a million other intriguing questions can be found in The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2009, on sale November 25, 2008.

For the first time in seven years, the editors of The World Almanac have included special features on the latest U.S. election and World Series. More than 40 pages have been dedicated to coverage of the 2008 election, including highlights of the presidential campaign, election results for every county in the U.S., explanations of key state ballot initiatives, biographies of the presidential candidates and a feature on the issues important to Americans going into the election. Baseball fans can check box scores and detailed summaries of each 2008 World Series game (did you know that Game 5 was the first World Series game ever suspended due to rain?) as well as regular-season batting and pitching stats for players on every team in Major League Baseball.

Also new this year, the editors have gone beyond the page to develop a free downloadable Web feature, the Official World Almanac Trivia Quiz Night kit. Readers will be able to host their own quiz night parties by visiting to download the kit. They can test their knowledge with over 150 questions in categories including history, sports, geography, pop culture and much more. The kit includes game instructions, activity ideas, a customizable invitation for your event and a 3-step how-to guide for creating your own quiz questions.

“Since its debut in 1868, more than 80 million readers have turned to The World Almanac for essential and compelling facts about the world, and this year we’ve provided even more value with the inclusion of special sections on Election 2008 and the World Series,” said C. Alan Joyce, editorial director of World Almanac Books. “This is especially true with the Official World Almanac Trivia Quiz Night kit, which readers will be able to download for free to test their trivia knowledge, spend time with family and friends and even host an event to raise money for charity.”

In addition to the annual round-up of fascinating facts that makes The World Almanac the best-selling almanac in the U.S. year after year, notable features in the 2009 edition include:

  • Top Ten News Topics of 2008—The World Almanac lists the topics that dominated news headlines in 2008, including U.S. recession fears, hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, the devastating earthquake in China and the subsequent uplifting Beijing Olympics.

  • Economic Crisis of 2008—From the collapse of Bear Sterns to the congressional economic bailout plan, The World Almanac recaps the 2008 economic crisis, including a glossary of financial terms to better understand its causes and effects.

  • Offbeat News Stories—Believe them or not, The World Almanac editors found some of the wackiest news stories of the year that are not only hilarious, but true! Find out which strange item thieves are stealing from restaurants nationwide, or how Forvik, a 2.5-acre island off the coast of Scotland, declared independence from the UK.

  • 2008 Sports Highlights—In addition to all-new 2008 World Series coverage, The World Almanac recounts the most unforgettable sports moments in 2008 including Michael Phelps’ eight gold medals—the most ever won by an athlete in a single Olympic games. Also featured are potential record breakers to watch in 2008-09, including LaDainian Tomlinson, poised to claim second place on the list of all-time leaders in rushing touchdowns.

  • 2008 Summer Olympic Games—More than 10,000 athletes from 204 nations met in Beijing, China, to compete in the Summer Olympic Games. The World Almanac revisits some of the most exciting moments from the 2008 Beijing Olympics, with final medal counts and detailed information on world records set by U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps, Jamaican track star Usain Bolt and others.

  • The World at a Glance: Favorite World Almanac Statistics—Number ones, surprising facts and signs of changing times give curious readers insight on trends and trivia of 2008 and beyond—from the world’s most popular travel destination (France; 91.7 million arrivals in 2007) to the increase in U.S. consumption of energy (28.9% increase since 1980) to the amount of tobacco U.S. farmers grew in 2007 (778.6 million pounds; less than half the quantity of tobacco grown in 1990).

  • 2008 Time Capsule—The editors’ selection of the ten items that best capture the spirit of 2008, from a copy of President-elect Barack Obama’s March 18th speech on race in America to a ticket stub from a screening of The Dark Knight, which quickly became North America’s 2nd-highest grossing movie of all-time.

The most popular and respected book of its kind, the 2008 edition spent 12 weeks on The New York Times Best Sellers List, reaching #2, and 10 weeks on the USA Today Best-Selling Books list.

About World Almanac Books
World Almanac Books delivers the highest quality reference and educational materials in print and online for schools, homes, libraries and all age levels. The first edition of The World Almanac ( was published by the New York World in 1868. Annual publication was suspended in 1876, but Joseph Pulitzer revived it in 1886 with the goal of making it a “compendium of universal knowledge.” It has been published annually since then. World Almanac Books also publishes The World Almanac for Kids (, the bestselling kids’ almanac in the United States.

World Almanac Books is part of The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc., a global publisher and direct marketer of products that inform, enrich, entertain and inspire people of all ages and cultures around the world. Global headquarters are located at Pleasantville, New York. The company’s main Web site is at

PUBLISHER: World Almanac Books
ON SALE DATE: November 25, 2008
PAGES: 1,008—including 16 page color photo insert
PAPERBACK: ISBN 10: 1-60057-105-0
ISBN 13: 978-1-60057-105-3
PRICE: Paperback  $12.99
TRIM SIZE: Paperback  5 3/8” x 8”

The World Almanac and Book of Facts